NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF INDIA
Context: 130th Foundation Day of National Archives of India (NAI) has been recently celebrated.
What is National Archives of India?
- The National Archives of India (NAI) is a repository of the non-current records of the Government of India and holds them in trust for the use of administrators and scholars.
- It was originally established as the Imperial Record Department in 1891, in Calcutta, the capital of British India.
- The NAI is situated at the intersection of Janpath and Rajpath, in Delhi.
- It functions as an Attached Office of the Department of Culture under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
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How did it came up?
- Originally established as the Imperial Record Department in 1891, in Calcutta, the capital of British India, G.W. Forrest was named as department head.
- In 1911, it was transferred to the new capital, New Delhi.
- The present building of the NAI was constructed in 1926 which was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.
- Shri K.R. Narayanan, then President of India, declared the “Museum of the National Archives” open to the general public on 6 July 1998.
- This museum provides a representative overview of the multifarious holdings of the National Archives, and promotes a common man’s interest in archival holdings.
- The NAI has a Regional Office at Bhopal and three Record Centres at Bhubaneswar, Jaipur and Pondicherry.
What records does NAI holds?
The holdings in the National Archives are in a regular series starting from the year 1748. The languages of the records include English, Arabic, Hindi, Persian, Sanskrit, Modi and Urdu, and their materials include paper, palm leaf, birch bark and parchment. The records are in four categories:
- Public Records
- Oriental Records
- Private Papers
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Further, the National Archives of India also holds regular exhibitions such as the display of declassified files on Subhash Chandra Bose in 2016 and the exhibition, “The Jammu and Kashmir Saga”, commemorating 70 years of Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India which was held from 10 January 2018 to 10 February 2018.
Between 1973 and 2015 NAI has held 108 exhibitions on various themes. The most recent being the exhibition “Jallianwala Bagh” on 11th March 2020 to commemorate the centenary of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre covering a period from (1915-50).